When The Message popped up, first I thought of the album by Grandmaster Flash—how couldn't I? Then I looked at it. Had Trust Performance just released a … Girvin? An AMP Research? A K2 NOLEEN Smart Shock—battery-equipped, mind you, and certainly likely to commit battery?
No, no, NO! I needed to remove myself from the VHS-tape era. Wade through DVDs, Blu-ray, SD rentable options, HD (ugh)-only fancy download options from Amazon and ta da, 2018, the return of the linkage fork. That's quite a span of movie media separating the last linkage fork and this one. Yes it is.
The Message: By sidestepping telescopic and opting for a linkage fork, Trust Performance provides characteristics to front suspension that are usually only associated with rear—initial sensitivity, while also changing leverage ratios to provide mid-stroke support among other things. Trust claims a ride devoid of brake dives, also reportedly separating chassis stiffness from suspension feel, and that by maintaining caster throughout the entirely of the stroke—courtesy of a wheel path that can move backward as well as upward—you no longer need to micromanage bar-to-body English while riding. Think about a typical descent: You're pulling the bars in, pushing them out, stiffening to compress through something, lightly sucking things up to not plunge through the fork at an inopportune moment—warding off a lawn-dart moment through years of practice. What if you didn't have to do any of that—or at least, greatly reduce to-and-from-the-bars movement? That'd be quite a change. Big claims indeed.
Trust Performance furthers that because of the remarkably different ride feel and manner with which front suspension is now operating, no longer do you need to think of The Message as a ___ -millimeter fork. Is it 100 millimeters? No. Is it 150 millimeters? Also no. But Trust recommends using it anywhere you'd consider using a 110-millimeter to 140-millimeter 29/27.5-plus fork, or in place of 130-140 for a 27.5 fork. Even more perplexing to us numbers junkies is that the fork offset on The Message changes throughout its travel as the axle path isn't limited to the plane of the headtube angle. Yep, not reduced offset, not regular offset, dynamic offset. Very different.
Very different carries a price, and that price is $2,700 for the carbon fork weighing 1,980 grams with 250-hour recommended service intervals.
So how'd it ride? You'll have to watch the video to find out, but we'll say this: We didn't find you could use it on a wide variety of travel setups. We settled on matching The Message to Devinci Marshall, a 29-inch 110-millimeter Split Pivot with a very supportive, lively and progressive feel to its rear suspension that punches far above its travel class for capability.
And the rest of the ride? Definitely different, watch to find out.